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Latest Email Scams

Several scam emails describing potential job opportunities and requesting to click on attached links were sent out to more than 6,300 students earlier this month, on Friday, Feb. 1.

One email sent from a user posing as a student reads, “Hello, my name is Gillian Demetrious, I am a student here at Monmouth University. My uncle is moving to the school area and needs someone who can pet sit or and walk his English Bull dog 2 hours daily within 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pay is $300 weekly. Kingly email him for more info You are to email him with your personal email NOT school email so he can receive your email because most times I email him with m school email he hardly receive my emails.” 

Another email from a user called Jonathan T. Beebe reads, “You have (2) important unread messages from our admin team, Click on review read it.” 

“Students may have received an email that purports to be a fellow student looking to hire someone as a part time dog walker.  Do not respond to that email.  It is a job scam. We are addressing it,” Jeffrey Layton, Detective Sergeant of the Monmouth University Police Department, writes in an email to students following the incidents. 

The University has since urged students to disregard the emails and remove them from their inboxes, and to report any other instances of scams to the IT Help Desk. In addition, they recommend students change their Monmouth-related password for security purposes if they opened any links affiliated with these emails. 

Robert Carsey, Director of Server Operations, has previously reported that in some cases, online scammers have made attempts to access employee or student worker W-2 information, which includes personal addresses and social security numbers.

According to Carsey, some of the most distinguishing components of scam emails are the poor composure, alternate or incorrect spellings, and false links. In such instances, he recommended double-checking the URL of any site attached to scam emails before entering the requested credentials. “If there is any doubt about the legitimacy of an email or link, please contact the Help Desk for assistance,” he said. 

“One of the most difficult things about phishing is that it is viewed as a technology problem, when it is simply age-old scams that are exploiting new technologies,” said Edward Christensen, Vice President for Information Management. According to him, the best way to avoid phishing schemes is to be informed about what red flags to look for.

Christensen said that the University systems currently utilize several anti-spam and malware detection services to identify and delete phishing emails before they make it to their intended recipients.

“Phishing has been an on-going problem for about a year now,” said Roxy Nicoletti, a junior biochemistry student. “I think everyone’s just sort of used to it. The scam emails aren’t exactly subtle or cleverly designed.” 

Christensen also explained that scammers use “behavioral and social engineering” in order to get users to respond and supplement this method by reverse engineering the anti-phishing software methods to create emails that will get past the filters on email inboxes.

To increase digital security, information is added to the University spam and malware filters as a preventative measure.

Christensen advised those who suspect they have become victims of phishing to change their passwords and call the Help Desk at (732)-923-4357.